Originally Posted by v5v
You know you're on a web forum, not Twitter, right? The pound signs and at symbols serve only to uselessly clutter your text here.
Probably just force of habit:
Over 13,000 tweets in < 3 years. This is the same guy that switched from the Mac because of FCPX:
He wasn't happy with the Mac Pro, went around a few suppliers and finally blew $11k on an HP Z820 with the intention of running all Adobe products instead of Apple. Since the Creative Cloud move, Adobe's become the new thing to complain about:
The guy from Adobe said: "You can do what you want, but I think it's more effective to communicate directly with the people you want. No noise, just direct communication".
In the end, it's all very well pointing out the problems but Adobe has to come up with a solution that works for both them and their customers; that's the nature of business. The highly priced perpetual license cut out the possibility of legitimate access to the software for people on fixed incomes. Rental models leave people without usable software after paying lots of money and stopping paying. Rent-to-own seems like the best of both but if it's not done right, it would mean that people can just stop paying after say 5 years and then how do they pay for those 5 years of updates? They can't just start paying the subscription again because other people have been paying for 5 years. Although new users do get to just start subscribing, they haven't been using the software for the previous 5 years.
The costs of the subscription can lower when everyone is paying all the time, same way insurance works. It has the potential for abuse because there's a degree of vendor lock-in with software. Adobe could have terms that put people more at ease when it comes to potential price increases over long periods of time but I think people get carried away with the potential problems. If prices were raised to crazy levels or even levels that were deemed uncomfortably expensive, the entire creative industry isn't going to just take it. It would transition just like it did with Quark. There's nothing else quite like the CS/CC Suites but there are alternatives for every app. For periods where you might run out of money, they could perhaps have a credit system so for every year you pay a subscription, you get 1-3 months of usage credits. If you have a rough patch, you can run the software from the usage credits to become financially stable again.
Adobe has no reason at all to persuade people to leave their eco-system. Once they have enough people on board, they have the freedom to lower prices. Shareholders care more about growth than profits as Amazon demonstrates and raising subscription prices would negatively impact growth.
- if they bring back a method to allow people to stop paying, subscription costs would have to increase because the current prices have to be based around the assumption that everyone is paying all the time
- if subscription costs go up, it persuades people to stop subscribing as soon as they can, which further increases the prices
- people who pay for the software once and don't upgrade for 5-10 years will be worse off but it's spread out over a long period of time and the price difference only starts to become noticeable after 4 years of not upgrading
If Adobe gets to a point where they have 15 million subscribers, which isn't a lot of people (about 1/3 of Netflix) paying $20/m, they'll make more revenue than they do now and it'll sustain the company forever. Isn't the possibility of a $20/m Suite of apps worth aiming for? Although it doesn't seem right that one company gets to have a privileged position, this is the same Adobe that's been there right from the start of creative computing and driven a lot of the industry to where it is now. Over time, with sustainable revenue, they can make acquisitions like Maxon, The Foundry, maybe even Autodesk and bring those suites into the same bundle. That could create a monopoly on creative software but would it be worse than a competitive model where monolithic software inevitably plateaus and companies like Avid end up close to bankruptcy leaving the whole industry in doubt as to what comes after it?
When companies are forced to downsize, the people who built the software have little choice but to split apart and the talent gets diluted elsewhere. This happened with Apple when they brought in the team from Nothing Real. Shake was used by Weta on Lord of the Rings and you can see the Apple logo in the credits. This software was eventually broken down and some parts used to create Motion and the team that left Apple sells equivalent software through the Foundry for $4-8k. Apple had Shake down to under $500. Without sustainable revenue, a large creative development team is a resource drain and these loss-making products end up dying out or becoming far too expensive with a limited audience. This isn't good for the industry as a whole.
People complain all the time about how big companies are abandoning high-end products - Avid ditched their high-end DS line recently, spot any tweets that stand out here:
This is what happens when companies have to maintain large creative development teams constantly to work on and support very expensive software that has a small customer base. Eventually, people migrate down to cheaper software and the powerful software is killed off. Adobe's strategy by contrast lets everyone get high-end software while still maintaining revenues. As I say, with some good acquisitions, this business model could make the most powerful creative software there is, accessible to everyone, even students. Having to keep paying is a downside but an inevitable one to keep prices down.
If they communicated terms that assured people for the long term, that would help. Microsoft failed to do this with their XBox strategy. The strategy was ok in that it included protections for game developers to improve their revenues and allow lower game costs for everyone. This problem of game resale is damaging the whole games industry and people don't see it because they aren't aware of the big companies going under. The problem was Microsoft didn't communicate or demonstrate the benefits so everyone focused on the fact that people weren't getting games as products any more but as licenses and would therefore be more expensive with less freedom.
People like to feel like they own things but software has a downside in that you own a copy of something that can't degrade. Things that degrade eventually push you to renew them. That's why hardware products aren't built to last, you can't build software like that but the team that made it still needs to be supported to work on new things.